To celebrate National Adoption Month in November, Wednesday's Child brings you an adoption being finalized as it happens in Family Court.
Abbie is a lucky little girl. She really has two moms -- the one who brought her into this world, and the one who will guide her through it. And both of them are here on this most important day of Abbie's short life, though she doesn't always act like it.
The sign says quiet, but the hallways at Family Court are anything but quiet as complete families, grandmas and grandpas, and friends, and siblings come to wait for their turn to be called into court.
Adoptive mother Mary Anne explains the unique arrangement everyone agreed to to make this day possible.
"It's an open adoption and she'll visit Abbie regularly and we'll send her pictures and Abbie's got a really good relationship with her sister, especially Anika. So they'll always have that bond that we want to keep," says Abbie's adoptive mother.
"So, it's open in the way that they can always contact us. They're free to come over, they're free to come and visit and anytime that we do formal pictures, and major events, they're going to be invited," says Abbie's new adoptive father.
Abbie's been in her adoptive home for more than a year and yet everyone's nervous and excited as the family gets their call into Judge Jennifer Elliott's courtroom.
Yes, there are legal formalities that must be performed, and yet the moment they've all been waiting for almost seems to take everyone by surprise.
"This is my favorite day of the year, every single year. We love Adoption Day and it's the best thing a Family Court Judge gets to do. It's a pinnacle. It's a culminating -- all the emotion is pretty much streamed to this day," says Judge Elliott.
The whole thing is over in about 10 minutes with a little time left over for pictures with the judge.
"What this means is that you're going to be their parents, you're going to accept them, and take care of them. They can inherit from you, you're always going to be responsible for them no matter what," adds Judge Elliott.
"We love Belinda. She didn't have to give up Abbie, but she did and she'll always have that special place in our hearts," says Mary Anne, tearfully.
Many more children would love to have a visit like that with the judge. You can inquire about any of them through the Adoption Exchange. Call now and they'll get you started at 436-6335.